The transfer window slammed shut at 11 p.m. Friday night. During the time it was open Arsenal were “linked” to a host of players, mostly it has to be said, with absolutely no chance of them being signed by Arsene Wenger.
The main business was completed expeditiously: in came Podolski, Giroud and, in my opinion, the signing of the season Santi Cazorla. Out, as expected, went van Persie and, surprisingly, Song. Although the departure of the latter became inevitable after his agent admitted agitating for an improved contract for months and the players less than enthusiastic approach to training and club discipline.
A few peripheral players have gone as well as quite a number of younger ones, either on loan or in many cases “released.” There remain some who are either unsaleable, because of their current wages, the club's unrealistic price tag, or are holding out for their own unrealistic personal terms.
Are we stronger as a result of the summer trading? In the cases of Podolski and Giroud we will have to wait and see, in Cazorla’s case, most definitely. The departed Dutchman’s goals will be sorely missed, Song’s contribution much less so.
It’s worth mentioning that we did not sign a direct replacement for Song. Many had been calling for a defensive mid-fielder to be brought in even before his departure and I’m pretty sure that Wenger would have done so had the right man been available, affordable and willing to sign for Arsenal.
I don’t go along with the gripes expressed by many fans, the AST among them, that we should have spent more on more players, just because we could have. Wenger has always said that the maximum number of new players that could be readily absorbed in one go was three, last seasons late trades were an exception, but ultimately a successful exception.
The return to fitness of Diaby, soon to be followed, I hope by Wilshire, Sagna, Rosicky and Frimpong will give us a strong and experienced squad that can be augmented, if necessary in January.
On the whole, I believe that this has been a successful transfer window, we have strengthened the squad and the total numbers have been reduced along with the wage bill. Let’s now all get behind the club, the manager and the team, cut out the sniping and start wholeheartedly supporting Arsenal Football Club.